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The Impact of Personality Types on Teams

Joshua Spears

COO for Traitify | Film, Books & Animals, aspiring Kool-Aid man | Inventor/Visionary in Work

The concept of "teams" is no longer limited to sports. For many, "teamwork" has become synonymous with the workplace. If your company isn't organized according to teams, chances are it will be soon. A 2016 report by Deloitte surveying more than 7,000 executives found that over 80 percent of employers in 130-plus countries are restructuring now or in the near future away from traditional hierarchies to a network of "teams".

Working in teams can be exhilarating, productive-or completely frustrating. One critical factor swaying the team in either direction? Team members' respective personalities.

New technology such as Traitify-a psychology-backed assessment comprised of a diverse set of fun visual assessments to uncover personality types and traits - allows employers to learn about an employee candidate's personality. Companies will find Traitify and other similar products helpful as they configure their employees in teams. After all, just as important as understanding employees' individual personalities is determining how they will interact with others on their "team".

Just ask Beverly Betz, MSW, BCD-P, vice president of Psychology at Traitify, who knows a thing or two about personality types and how they work - and don't - work well together.

Personality types every company wants on their team

Most employees possess a personality that on some level can move a team forward.

Consider the "planner". These employees tend to be extremely goal-oriented and exceptionally talented with details - excellent traits for teams, Betz explains. But, she warns, the planner also has a tendency to display some obsessive compulsiveness. So pick a planner to be the project manager on the team, but know that you may have to keep that team member in checking, lest he or she drive everyone crazy with constantly updated and revised reminders, to-do lists, and schedules.

See the 'big picture' with the Visionary. According to Traitify's Betz, that's the guy (or gal) with the big dream. The antithesis of the planner, the visionary sees the big picture. Especially if a team is tasked with not only getting a job done but also identifying higher-level project goals and aspirations, then grab the Visionary and don't let this person go. Just make sure the Visionary's plan makes sense, and that the team also has enough "doers" to execute the vision.

Gain guidance from a Mentor. The mentor is like a level-headed cheerleader, lifting up coworkers when they get down or lose their way, playing peace maker when team members aren't seeing eye-to-eye. "It always helps to have a mentor on the team, because everyone needs to get along, and the 'mentor' helps folks do that," Betz says. You may want to temper the mentor's mother-hen style, she warns, with others who will keep the team on track.

Why one of each personality type to a team is usually plenty

If one is good, then more must be great; right? Well, not necessarily. A balance of multiple personality types per team is usually ideal. When you cluster employees in a single team whose personality types are super similar, that is not necessarily a good thing. How often, for example, do two visionaries share the same vision and the best way to attain it? It's a rarity.

Just as every team can benefit from one visionary, the same can be said for a strong planner. But if two planners are on the same team, they're likely to clash - especially if they have different ideas about how best to organize a project.

There are, however, situations where employees with similar personalities do work well together. Inventors and analyzers, for instance, both tend to be introverted problem solvers. Stick a group of inventors together and, if they're working on a technology- or architecture-related project that involves heavy-duty problem solving, it's quite possible they'll come up with a masterpiece.

If you do get stuck on a team with two or even three of the same strong personality types where only one is preferred, creative solutions may be required. For instance, if you have three planners, divide the project into three parts or phases and task each (planner) with one of these.

When the desired personality type depends on the project

Certain personality types excel best when placed on teams tasked with a particular type of project. For instance, say your company provides public relations services for several clients, one of which is an environmental firm. If you have a naturalist on your team who is passionate about the environment, strongly consider placing that employee on a project for the environmental firm. Knowing employees' passions and applying them when possible generally reaps strong rewards.

 

Additional tips for making teams work better together, no matter which personalities you've been dealt

  • Any personality type can be on any team; it depends on the role they play.
  • No one person should be allowed to dominate the team.
  • Limit the number of employees in the team; the ideal group tends to be between 6 and 8 people.
  • Avoid allowing group conflicts to become 'embedded', and therefore, accepted.

Want to find out more about personality at work? Check out the Work Solutions that Traitify offers and get started today!

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